Carbon capture offers the possibility of either storing carbon dioxide permanently and, together with biogenic carbon dioxide (bio-CCS), creating negative emissions, or reusing the carbon dioxide (BCU) for production , for example, sustainable synthetic aviation fuel, which significantly reduces the need for fossil aviation fuel.
What are CCS, bio-CCS and CCU?
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the capture of carbon dioxide in the flue gases of power plants, combustion plants or large process industries. This separated carbon dioxide is compressed and then transported in liquid form to a suitable storage location deep in the ground, usually at sea.
In bio-CCS, also known as BECCS (Bio Energy Carbon Capture and Storage), biomass is used as fuel and potentially even waste with biogenic fuels as the main component. The capture and permanent storage of carbon dioxide not only leads to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, but also functions as a carbon sink, producing negative emissions and thus offsetting other fossil carbon dioxide emissions.
In the case of carbon capture and utilization (CCU), the carbon dioxide in the flue gases is captured and separated for use in other sectors, such as aviation, where it can help significantly reduce the need for fossil fuels.
Compared to many other alternatives, bio-CCS is a cost-effective technology for reducing carbon dioxide. Sweden has particularly good conditions and should make the most of them. The potential for negative emissions is high through the capture, transport and storage of biogenic carbon dioxide at point emission sources such as forest industries and heating plants. This is according to the Swedish Council for Climate Policy, which in its survey of the Swedish government points out that bio-CCS is the technology in Sweden that has the greatest achievable potential to achieve permanent negative carbon dioxide emissions. .
However, updated regulations and new economic instruments are needed to make large carbon sinks possible and enable the introduction of bio-CCS, also known as BECCS (Bio Energy Carbon Capture and Storage). The Swedish Climate Policy Council therefore recommends a state aid system that offers investment support in the first stage which should remain in place until at least 2030.
There are currently no large-scale commercial carbon capture plants in Sweden, but there are around 20 plants in operation worldwide, including in Norway. Vattenfall has experience with several carbon capture technologies through a large-scale pilot plant in Germany and trial facilities in the Netherlands and the UK between 2008 and 2014.
In Sweden, Vattenfall is currently evaluating the company’s heating plants in Uppsala, Jordbro and Nyköping for carbon dioxide capture. The carbon dioxide can then be permanently stored (CCS) or reused (CCU) for, for example, the production of aviation fuel.